An encore presentation of a performance from the PBS Hawai‘i studios in Manoa by this multi-Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winning group comprised of Kale Hannahs, Ryan Gonzalez and Chad Takatsugi. They combine sweet harmonies with tight instrumentals to produce enchanting traditional Hawaiian music reminiscent of years gone by.
When we hear his distinctive voice, there is no mistaking the music of Jerry Santos. And when we listen to his lyrics, there is no mistaking his connection with the memories and emotions of our own lives. In this NA MELE, Jerry has woven together a story of home. “The idea of home was the driving force for the content. Most of the songs speak to the idea of ku‘u home, a personal, endearing way to refer to our place in the world. It becomes ku‘u because we attach to it our familiarity, what the wind and the rain are like, how the mountains smell, what is in the river, who our people are, our attachment to them and the things we have learned by being of a place,” Jerry says.
Jerry mixes “All of That Love from Here” with his signature song, “Ku‘u Home ‘O Kahalu‘u,” as well as “Tewe Tewe,” a playful song that pays tribute to the slippery o‘opu. He also performs “Seabird” and “Ku‘u Makamaka,” among other songs. Joining Jerry are musicians Kamuela Kimokeo and Hoku Zuttermeister.
Singer Melveen Leed is joined by her hula dancer daughter Kaaikaula Naluai at the PBS Hawai‘i studios. Best known for contemporary Hawaiian, jazz and country, Moloka‘i girl Melveen also has deep roots in traditional Hawaiian song.
Multiple Hoku Hanohano Award-winners Haunani Apoliona and Ku’uipo Kumukahi present classic Hawaiian songs in both solo and duet performances.
Like millions of indigenous people, many Native American tribes do not control their own material history and culture. For the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes living on the isolated Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming, contact with lost artifacts risks opening old wounds, but also offers the possibility for healing. This film tells the story of how a young journalist and a teenage powwow princess, both of the Arapaho tribe, traveled together with a Shoshone elder in search of missing artifacts in the vast archives of Chicago’s Field Museum.
Ledward Kaapana remembers his Uncle Fred Punahoa playing the song “Radio Hula” in Kalapana: “In the morning, like one, two o’clock in the morning. In Kalapana, it’s so quiet, so… you know, and it’s dark, and so, he used to just sit outside on the porch, and play his guitar. I don’t know if you ever experienced sleeping…and hear one guitar just playing sweet music that just wake you up and like, ‘Oh, so sweet,’” Kaapana remembers. “Radio Hula” is one of the songs that Ledward Kaapana, along with his sisters Lehua Nash, Rhoda Kekona, and Lei Aken play in his Kaneohe garage on a rainy evening. They also share an energetic slack key performance of “Kuu Ipo Onaona,” and Ledward honors the late Dennis Kamakahi with “Kokee.”
On most Friday evenings, slack key artist Ledward Kaapana gets together with his neighbors to share potluck dishes, laughter and music. For Ledward, it’s a tradition that goes back to his younger days in Kalapana on the island of Hawai‘i. “When I was growing up, we used to have kani ka pile…everybody sit down and enjoy, listen to music,” Ledward remembers. This special Na Mele features Ledward and his sisters Lei Aken, Lehua Nash, and Rhoda Kekona, playing their music in Ledward’s garage. Ledward’s falsetto voice leads off with “Nani,” and Lei, Lehua and Rhoda take vocal solos on “Kaneohe,” “Kalapana” and “Holei.” Sit back and enjoy!
NA MELE presents two stars of contemporary Hawaiian Music: Kainani Kahaunaele and Kaumakaiwa Lopaka Kanaka’ole. Hawaiian language instructor Kahaunaele’s powerful voice and original compositions have served as a focal point for her research into haku mele. Kanaka’ole, the heir to a family musical legacy, combines traditional Hawaiian instruments and songs to create energy-filled productions that expand the definition of Hawaiian music.
Keali‘i Reichel has long established himself as one of Hawai‘i’s premier artists. His dedication to the perpetuation of Hawaiian language, song, chanting and hula has evolved into unique and personal performances that showcase the depth of Hawaiian culture for international audiences. This performance, recorded at the PBS Hawai‘i studio, excellently showcases his artistry.
The 19th century was a time of devastating change for the Hawaiian people. This documentary looks at the visionary efforts of five members of the ali’i, Hawaiian royalty, to provide for the education of the children, healthcare and comfort for the elderly. The charitable institutions they created have endured and are thriving and vital institutions today.